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AAPP documents nearly 5,000 killed since military coup; NUG assists over 15,000 to evade military conscription

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

AAPP documents nearly 5,000 killed since 2021 military coup

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) has documented that 4,961 people, including civilians, have been killed by the military and its proxy forces since the coup on Feb. 1, 2021. At least 630 children are among the dead, with 106 being killed this year so far. The number of unverified deaths has surpassed an additional 1,000.

“We have two different lists. One is the verified [killed] list and the other that we don’t publish is our unverified [killed] list. We also exclude it from our Daily Briefing. Every day we get the information through our networks. So every day the fatality list is increasing,” said Kyaw Soe Win, a former political prisoner and the head of the mental health assistance program at AAPP.

He added that the AAPP doesn’t document those killed in the fighting between the military and resistance forces nationwide. The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) has documented that over 50,000 total have been killed in Burma over the last three years.

NUG assists over 15,000 to evade military conscription

The National Unity Government (NUG) claimed during an online press conference on Tuesday that it has assisted over 15,000 people eligible for military conscription to evade it. The NUG has provided people with information on how to reach areas under the control of resistance forces.

“More than 15,000 people aged between 18 to 35 contacted us through our Telegram channel which opened on March 30. Most of them said they wanted to join the People’s Defense Forces,” said Nay Phone Latt, the NUG Prime Minister’s Office spokesperson.

People’s Embrace, an organization that assists military defectors, stated that it had been contacted by more than 26,000 people wanting to evade military conscription. The Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) claimed that it has trained over 500 new recruits who have evaded military conscription. The regime activated its conscription law on Feb. 10.

Jane Ferguson on the social history of Burmese cinema

DVB Bureau Chief Mon Mon Myat sat down in the Newsroom with Jane M. Ferguson, a lecturer in the School of Culture, History and Language at the Australian National University. They discussed Ferguson’s new book called Silver Screens and Golden Dreams: A Social History of Burmese Cinema.

“I was interested in people’s everyday lives and personal memories, and they told me so many stories about the film industry that they enjoyed so much as kids in the Shan State or in Mandalay or Yangon. They had happy memories of the movies that they loved and the stars that they used to follow. They didn’t like it, for example, that the bad guys would always be wearing Shan pants,” she said.

Newsroom podcast episode 10 with Jane M. Ferguson on a social history of Burmese cinema will be available Monday, May 6. Listen on Spotify, Audible, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts or YouTube Music. DVB English News is available wherever you get your podcasts.

Migrant Workers Rights Network (MWRN) attended a rally for International Workers’ Day in Bangkok, Thailand on May 1. (Credit: MWRN)

News by Region

CHINLAND—Paletwa Township residents said that the Arakan Army (AA) began preparations to resettle ethnic Rakhine, who were living in Bangladesh, to Paletwa. They claimed that the AA ordered residents living near the Bangladesh border to cut 1,000 bamboo trees per village to make space for those being resettled from Bangladesh starting on April 15.  

From 600 to 1,000 ethnic Rakhine will be relocated to Miza village, according to the AA. It informed residents on April 19 that men aged 18 to 40 must attend military training. More than 30 Miza residents have already fled forced recruitment by the AA to seek refuge in India’s Mizoram State. 

KACHIN—A woman was killed by artillery fired during fighting between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Burma Army in Saitaung village, Hpakant Township, on Wednesday. “The military blocked the main road of the village, trapping residents. It then fired artillery shells,” said a Saitaung resident.  

SAGAING—Family homes, pagodas, and monasteries in Monywa, Depayin and Salingyi townships were damaged or destroyed by heavy winds on Wednesday. “The wind was too strong and it blew for nearly an hour. Trees and lamp posts collapsed,” said a Monywa resident. Salingyi Township residents claimed that shelters at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp were damaged. No casualties were reported. Aid groups are assisting in the clean up efforts.

YANGON—Hmawbi Township residents said that the Burma Army has been providing training on the use of combat drones at its No. 5 Air Defense Operations Command Headquarters since April 28. “Currently, officers from the military are teaching the classes, but I heard experts from Russia will come to teach,” said an anonymous source from the military. 

The Burma Army has been accelerating its use of combat drones during military operations in Mon and Karen states. Chinese-made drones were spotted in Myawaddy and Kawkareik townships. The regime stated that its officials, including the regime Minister of Home Affairs Yar Pyae visited Russia and China April 11-30 to purchase combat drones.

The Weekly Briefing is available Fridays. Listen on Spotify, Audible, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, or YouTube Music. Find DVB English News wherever you get your podcasts.

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